Twin Cities Native Americans' safety net is short on revenues as needs rise


August 17, 2020

Without the same funding as tribal nations, many organizations that serve Native Americans in the cities are facing a revenue shortfall.

Five days a week, the Gatherings Cafe located inside the Minneapolis American Indian Center delivers free meals to elders. The Native American Community Clinic swabs patients for COVID-19 at a testing drive-through. And the Ain Dah Yung Center has staff standing by at parks to help displaced encampment residents.

These organizations often are a safety net for Native Americans living off-reservation in the Twin Cities, where federal treaty obligations to provide social services disappear. They also target their services to a substantial portion of the Native American population in Minnesota; about seven in 10 Native Americans reside off-reservation or in the metro area. But during the pandemic, these nonprofits are facing declining revenue as they prepare for a worsening economic crisis.


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